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Konquering the Web - page 2

Konqueror: More than a Web Browser

  • May 30, 2000
  • By Dennis E. Powell

The Window menu gives you the ability to split the Konqueror window horizontally or vertically, or to split the view, using the same criteria. It seems a little confusing at first--what's the difference?--but both are useful. Read on to find out why.

Initially the two--split window and split view--do the same thing, which is to divide the window into halves. You navigate between them by clicking on the side you to which you wish to give what amounts to focus; a small button at the lower left of the active half will turn green to signify that it is in fact active. If you type in a URL or use other means of navigation, this is the part of the window that will go there. You can click on the other side, make it active, and go someplace entirely different. Because Konqueror supports drag'n'drop, this makes file movement within a machine or over a network a breeze (to the extent that you have the appropriate permissions, of course, though there is a superuser option available as well on Kicker's KMenu).

If you were to go to the Window menu and select "split window" again, the whole window would be split yet again. But if you were to select "split view," only the active half of the Konqueror window would be split--resulting in three sections, two quarters and a half. The other, inactive half could be made active and its view split, and the pieces themselves split, and so on, and any one of the new parts could be made active and navigated to anyplace locally or on the network or web.

A neat trick. But what good is it? I mean, yes, it is possible to open four or more web pages at once. Who would want to? And the answer is, relatively few people, if multiple web pages are what is being viewed. There are people who monitor, for instance, stock indices or particular shares in real time, and this would allow them to do that. The dividing bar separating the Konqueror parts can themselves be dragged to larger or smaller size, so it's possible with a little tuning to have several sites on at once, all limited to displaying only that which you want to see. But its uses are even greater in file management mode, particularly for the system administrator who may be watching several things happening at once. (Konqueror's view updates in real time; if, for instance, you have a Konqueror view of a directory and use another copy of Konqueror--you can run as many instances of it as you want--or, say, Midnight Commander in a terminal window to delete some files, they will disappear from the Konqueror view as they're erased.)

The split window (or split view) feature really shines when it comes to doing FTP transfers. Point one half to the appropriate directory on the local drive, the other to the remote ftp directory, select the files you want to receive (or send) and drag them from the source side to the target side. A little menu will pop up asking you if you wish to copy, move, or link the selected file(s); of course, "copy" is the correct choice in FTP, though the same procedure can be used locally in moving files or in making links without dropping to the command prompt. Once you've made your choice, the transfer will begin, complete with progress dialog. (I am told that the split window/view feature is likely to be modified or simplified in some way before release. I hope not, because though initially confising, each of these options has distinct uses.)

You could, by the way, also select the files you want to copy, click the right mouse button on them, from the resulting menu choose "Copy," navigate to the local directory where you wanted them to go, click the right mouse button, choose "Paste," and initiate the same transfer. Or you could do either of these things between two copies of Konqueror. (We show this feature in action in Figure 3.) It is sufficiently versatile that your first guess will almost always be right.

I frankly cannot wait to see some of the uses people come up with for this thing, because it invites imaginative uses. I already found one: Caldera OpenLinux eDesktop 2.4 and eServer 2.3 both include the innovative WebAdmin application, which is a powerful system administration tool that is run from within, typically, Netscape. As part of trying to break Konqueror, I fired up WebAdmin in it. It worked just fine, with less use of system resources. (It's shown in Figure 4.) Now how much would you pay? But wait--there's more.


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